|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : fxe|
airport : fxe
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Citation II S2/Bravo|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 4500
flight time type : 500
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
faa : assigned or threatened penalties
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
The FAA has alleged that a flight subsequent to the situation described in the attached narrative is a potential operation of a non airworthy aircraft until such time as a mechanic has signed off on the aircraft. The flight subsequent was from gad to ege conducted on the afternoon of aug/xa/98. The flight was normal in all respects. 2 subsequent inspections of the aircraft have revealed no discrepancies, and all operation since has been completely normal. 1 week following the situation described below, the part 135 operator of the charter operation where I hangar my airplane, operated under part 91, was informed by telephone conversation with a supervisor in the FSDO that the FAA regarded my flight of a cessna citation 550 as operation of an nonairworthy aircraft. He was led to believe that the FAA was going to proceed with an investigation asserting that a violation had occurred. The situation leading up to this conversation is as follows: at approximately XA00 on aug/sc/98 while on a routine flight with family aboard from cvg to fxe, flying a published departure, I was cleared from 13000 ft MSL to FL230. The WX was clear. When I advanced the power levers I noticed that the left engine hesitated and resisted coming to full power in relation to the right engine. After several attempts to get it to behave as I was accustomed, I told the PNF copilot to advise center that we would like to return to cvg. I was only mins from the airport, nothing in the checklist covered such an anomaly, and I wanted to think the problem through on the ground. The return to cvg was routine. Center asked the nature of the problem and specific questions such as souls and fuel on board, and asked me if I was declaring an emergency. I instructed the PNF to advise them that we had experienced some problems with the left engine, and that we were not declaring an emergency. We were asked if we needed to return immediately, or could we be worked in with other traffic. We advised that there was no hurry, and that we could be worked in. In fact, we were vectored several times for the return, and during the descent the left engine began operating in a completely normalmanner. The tower alerted fire rescue who positioned themselves along the runway and followed us to the FBO, however at no time did we request any special assistance, and in fact, thought their presence was part of their training. At no time did the engine quit, stop, flame out, etc, or was such a condition reported. Upon my return to the FBO, I asked if they had a mechanic available and was referred to one who said he was too busy to deal with me. I was referred to another mechanic at luk whom I spoke with by phone, explaining fully what had happened, adding that I thought it seemed like a minor fuel contamination or fuel icing, and he concurred. No other indications occurred in the cockpit to suggest another problem, such as fuel filter bypass annunciator, engine temperature, fuel flow, oil pressure/temperature, etc. I proposed that I would do a full static engine runup, resump the airplane, and if everything appeared normal, I would continue my flight. The mechanic concurred. I also called the part 135 operator where the aircraft is hangared and asked what he thought of my plan, and he also concurred. The static full runup was completely normal. A thorough draining of all sumps revealed no abnormal contaminants. After refueling and a preflight, we continued our trip to fxe. The flight was completely normal in all respects. I was unaware of any complications with the FAA until the part 135 operator where the aircraft was based (and on whose certificate he is trying to add this aircraft) informed me that he had a call from the FSDO inquiring why no paperwork had been filed and asking that the pilot be idented. The operator explained that no paperwork was required because the operation was part 91, and he refused to give out information about me, the pilot. I was unaware of this conversation until 2 days later. The FAA representative called my home late friday, and I returned the call but didn't speak to him until monday, whereupon I related the details as above. He asked me if the flight was under part 91 or 135, and told him it was part 91. He said that was all. The part 135 operator subsequently spoke with the FAA representative's supervisor and was informed that the FAA's position was that the aircraft was not airworthy and could not be returned to service until it had been signed off by a mechanic. 2 separate inspections of the aircraft were performed immediately, and no discrepancies were observed. Both mechanics signed the aircraft off as airworthy. In 10 subsequent hours all operations of the aircraft has been normal. As PIC of the aircraft, I feel I made an educated, informed determination that the aircraft had been and continued to be airworthy and made the decision to resume the flight to florida, and that no operation of a nonairworthy aircraft took place. 2 inspections and 10 hours of normal flight bear this out. As an editorial afterthought, I remember that I was proud of how the situation was handled, that I exercised conservatism and caution by returning to cvg when the flight could probably have been continued without incident, but that I wanted to deal with the thinking part of the process on the ground where it is safer. The return to cvg, adherence to ATC instructions, calm and communicative atmosphere in the cockpit were textbook, and worthy of any good simulator session I have had. I do not feel that an assertion that to return to the airport constitutes a determination that an aircraft is not airworthy is conducive to promoting a cooperative relationship between the FAA and pilots. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter stated that he had not heard further from the FAA. However, it may have been due to him contacting his local FSDO office to discuss the incident. He learned that when the investigating FSDO inquired of the operator of the incident, the operator representative would not fully cooperate with the FSDO inspector by giving the name of the pilot, etc. After finding that out and discussing the situation with the investigating FSDO, it helped to bring a resolution to the incident. The FSDO probably suspected that the flight was under part 135 where additional reporting requirements are necessary.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: FAA INSPECTOR ALLEGES THAT FLC OF A CESSNA CITATION II C550 OPERATED THE ACFT IN AN UNAIRWORTHY CONDITION WHEN IT HAD NOT BEEN INSPECTED AND SIGNED OFF FOR RETURN TO SVC AFTER RETURN LAND DUE TO AN ENG PROB.
Narrative: THE FAA HAS ALLEGED THAT A FLT SUBSEQUENT TO THE SIT DESCRIBED IN THE ATTACHED NARRATIVE IS A POTENTIAL OP OF A NON AIRWORTHY ACFT UNTIL SUCH TIME AS A MECH HAS SIGNED OFF ON THE ACFT. THE FLT SUBSEQUENT WAS FROM GAD TO EGE CONDUCTED ON THE AFTERNOON OF AUG/XA/98. THE FLT WAS NORMAL IN ALL RESPECTS. 2 SUBSEQUENT INSPECTIONS OF THE ACFT HAVE REVEALED NO DISCREPANCIES, AND ALL OP SINCE HAS BEEN COMPLETELY NORMAL. 1 WK FOLLOWING THE SIT DESCRIBED BELOW, THE PART 135 OPERATOR OF THE CHARTER OP WHERE I HANGAR MY AIRPLANE, OPERATED UNDER PART 91, WAS INFORMED BY TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH A SUPVR IN THE FSDO THAT THE FAA REGARDED MY FLT OF A CESSNA CITATION 550 AS OP OF AN NONAIRWORTHY ACFT. HE WAS LED TO BELIEVE THAT THE FAA WAS GOING TO PROCEED WITH AN INVESTIGATION ASSERTING THAT A VIOLATION HAD OCCURRED. THE SIT LEADING UP TO THIS CONVERSATION IS AS FOLLOWS: AT APPROX XA00 ON AUG/SC/98 WHILE ON A ROUTINE FLT WITH FAMILY ABOARD FROM CVG TO FXE, FLYING A PUBLISHED DEP, I WAS CLRED FROM 13000 FT MSL TO FL230. THE WX WAS CLR. WHEN I ADVANCED THE PWR LEVERS I NOTICED THAT THE L ENG HESITATED AND RESISTED COMING TO FULL PWR IN RELATION TO THE R ENG. AFTER SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO GET IT TO BEHAVE AS I WAS ACCUSTOMED, I TOLD THE PNF COPLT TO ADVISE CTR THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO RETURN TO CVG. I WAS ONLY MINS FROM THE ARPT, NOTHING IN THE CHKLIST COVERED SUCH AN ANOMALY, AND I WANTED TO THINK THE PROB THROUGH ON THE GND. THE RETURN TO CVG WAS ROUTINE. CTR ASKED THE NATURE OF THE PROB AND SPECIFIC QUESTIONS SUCH AS SOULS AND FUEL ON BOARD, AND ASKED ME IF I WAS DECLARING AN EMER. I INSTRUCTED THE PNF TO ADVISE THEM THAT WE HAD EXPERIENCED SOME PROBS WITH THE L ENG, AND THAT WE WERE NOT DECLARING AN EMER. WE WERE ASKED IF WE NEEDED TO RETURN IMMEDIATELY, OR COULD WE BE WORKED IN WITH OTHER TFC. WE ADVISED THAT THERE WAS NO HURRY, AND THAT WE COULD BE WORKED IN. IN FACT, WE WERE VECTORED SEVERAL TIMES FOR THE RETURN, AND DURING THE DSCNT THE L ENG BEGAN OPERATING IN A COMPLETELY NORMALMANNER. THE TWR ALERTED FIRE RESCUE WHO POSITIONED THEMSELVES ALONG THE RWY AND FOLLOWED US TO THE FBO, HOWEVER AT NO TIME DID WE REQUEST ANY SPECIAL ASSISTANCE, AND IN FACT, THOUGHT THEIR PRESENCE WAS PART OF THEIR TRAINING. AT NO TIME DID THE ENG QUIT, STOP, FLAME OUT, ETC, OR WAS SUCH A CONDITION RPTED. UPON MY RETURN TO THE FBO, I ASKED IF THEY HAD A MECH AVAILABLE AND WAS REFERRED TO ONE WHO SAID HE WAS TOO BUSY TO DEAL WITH ME. I WAS REFERRED TO ANOTHER MECH AT LUK WHOM I SPOKE WITH BY PHONE, EXPLAINING FULLY WHAT HAD HAPPENED, ADDING THAT I THOUGHT IT SEEMED LIKE A MINOR FUEL CONTAMINATION OR FUEL ICING, AND HE CONCURRED. NO OTHER INDICATIONS OCCURRED IN THE COCKPIT TO SUGGEST ANOTHER PROB, SUCH AS FUEL FILTER BYPASS ANNUNCIATOR, ENG TEMP, FUEL FLOW, OIL PRESSURE/TEMP, ETC. I PROPOSED THAT I WOULD DO A FULL STATIC ENG RUNUP, RESUMP THE AIRPLANE, AND IF EVERYTHING APPEARED NORMAL, I WOULD CONTINUE MY FLT. THE MECH CONCURRED. I ALSO CALLED THE PART 135 OPERATOR WHERE THE ACFT IS HANGARED AND ASKED WHAT HE THOUGHT OF MY PLAN, AND HE ALSO CONCURRED. THE STATIC FULL RUNUP WAS COMPLETELY NORMAL. A THOROUGH DRAINING OF ALL SUMPS REVEALED NO ABNORMAL CONTAMINANTS. AFTER REFUELING AND A PREFLT, WE CONTINUED OUR TRIP TO FXE. THE FLT WAS COMPLETELY NORMAL IN ALL RESPECTS. I WAS UNAWARE OF ANY COMPLICATIONS WITH THE FAA UNTIL THE PART 135 OPERATOR WHERE THE ACFT WAS BASED (AND ON WHOSE CERTIFICATE HE IS TRYING TO ADD THIS ACFT) INFORMED ME THAT HE HAD A CALL FROM THE FSDO INQUIRING WHY NO PAPERWORK HAD BEEN FILED AND ASKING THAT THE PLT BE IDENTED. THE OPERATOR EXPLAINED THAT NO PAPERWORK WAS REQUIRED BECAUSE THE OP WAS PART 91, AND HE REFUSED TO GIVE OUT INFO ABOUT ME, THE PLT. I WAS UNAWARE OF THIS CONVERSATION UNTIL 2 DAYS LATER. THE FAA REPRESENTATIVE CALLED MY HOME LATE FRIDAY, AND I RETURNED THE CALL BUT DIDN'T SPEAK TO HIM UNTIL MONDAY, WHEREUPON I RELATED THE DETAILS AS ABOVE. HE ASKED ME IF THE FLT WAS UNDER PART 91 OR 135, AND TOLD HIM IT WAS PART 91. HE SAID THAT WAS ALL. THE PART 135 OPERATOR SUBSEQUENTLY SPOKE WITH THE FAA REPRESENTATIVE'S SUPVR AND WAS INFORMED THAT THE FAA'S POS WAS THAT THE ACFT WAS NOT AIRWORTHY AND COULD NOT BE RETURNED TO SVC UNTIL IT HAD BEEN SIGNED OFF BY A MECH. 2 SEPARATE INSPECTIONS OF THE ACFT WERE PERFORMED IMMEDIATELY, AND NO DISCREPANCIES WERE OBSERVED. BOTH MECHS SIGNED THE ACFT OFF AS AIRWORTHY. IN 10 SUBSEQUENT HRS ALL OPS OF THE ACFT HAS BEEN NORMAL. AS PIC OF THE ACFT, I FEEL I MADE AN EDUCATED, INFORMED DETERMINATION THAT THE ACFT HAD BEEN AND CONTINUED TO BE AIRWORTHY AND MADE THE DECISION TO RESUME THE FLT TO FLORIDA, AND THAT NO OP OF A NONAIRWORTHY ACFT TOOK PLACE. 2 INSPECTIONS AND 10 HRS OF NORMAL FLT BEAR THIS OUT. AS AN EDITORIAL AFTERTHOUGHT, I REMEMBER THAT I WAS PROUD OF HOW THE SIT WAS HANDLED, THAT I EXERCISED CONSERVATISM AND CAUTION BY RETURNING TO CVG WHEN THE FLT COULD PROBABLY HAVE BEEN CONTINUED WITHOUT INCIDENT, BUT THAT I WANTED TO DEAL WITH THE THINKING PART OF THE PROCESS ON THE GND WHERE IT IS SAFER. THE RETURN TO CVG, ADHERENCE TO ATC INSTRUCTIONS, CALM AND COMMUNICATIVE ATMOSPHERE IN THE COCKPIT WERE TEXTBOOK, AND WORTHY OF ANY GOOD SIMULATOR SESSION I HAVE HAD. I DO NOT FEEL THAT AN ASSERTION THAT TO RETURN TO THE ARPT CONSTITUTES A DETERMINATION THAT AN ACFT IS NOT AIRWORTHY IS CONDUCIVE TO PROMOTING A COOPERATIVE RELATIONSHIP BTWN THE FAA AND PLTS. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR STATED THAT HE HAD NOT HEARD FURTHER FROM THE FAA. HOWEVER, IT MAY HAVE BEEN DUE TO HIM CONTACTING HIS LCL FSDO OFFICE TO DISCUSS THE INCIDENT. HE LEARNED THAT WHEN THE INVESTIGATING FSDO INQUIRED OF THE OPERATOR OF THE INCIDENT, THE OPERATOR REPRESENTATIVE WOULD NOT FULLY COOPERATE WITH THE FSDO INSPECTOR BY GIVING THE NAME OF THE PLT, ETC. AFTER FINDING THAT OUT AND DISCUSSING THE SIT WITH THE INVESTIGATING FSDO, IT HELPED TO BRING A RESOLUTION TO THE INCIDENT. THE FSDO PROBABLY SUSPECTED THAT THE FLT WAS UNDER PART 135 WHERE ADDITIONAL RPTING REQUIREMENTS ARE NECESSARY.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.